USDA supports energy biomass growers, harvesters with funds

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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced incentives for growers and harvesters of clean-energy-yielding biomass.

Farmers, ranchers and forest landowners engaged in such activities are to receive support under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). The program was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

BCAP provides financial assistance for growing and maintaining energy-yielding crops or for harvesting and delivering forest or agricultural residues to a qualifying energy facility.

The department has stated that crops such as corn residue, diseased or insect infested wood, or orchard waste are among the biomass eligible for BCAP support.

Recently USDA announced an investment up to $100 million to develop clean energy infrastructure within the US.

The department intends to double the number of fuel pumps capable of supplying higher blends of renewable fuel — such as E15 and E85 — to consumers using the fund.

It is expected to help farmers diversify their rural portfolios, support rural economic growth and jobs.

“Other countries are investing in clean energy technologies because they realize the tremendous economic potential of these energy sources, and we must do the same to remain competitive,” USDA has noted in a statement.

The US exported more than $2-billion-dollars-worth of ethanol last year, making it the world’s largest exporter of the biofuel.

Ajith Kumar S

[email protected]

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